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Hedgewood Tree Service LLC started in 2015 with one employee and minimal equipment. Over the years, and with the help of Native360 Loan Fund, owner Matt Nightser has watched his business grow tremendously. Matt and his brother, Mark, are located in Bellevue, Nebraska, where they lend a helping hand and their tree service skills to the Omaha Metro and Iowa areas. When tree trimming and removal slows in the winter months, Hedgewood is able to sell a byproduct of their tree service business – firewood.
“I got this idea (for Hedgewood Tree Service LLC) from my brother, Mark. I’ve done so many different things for work,” Matt said. “But then he started mowing lawns or selling firewood first, then getting into the tree work. We discovered that that was the way to go for probably the rest of our lives.
The success of Hedgewood Tree Service LLC was apparent to Matt from the start. As business continued to roll in through word-of-mouth referrals, the need for bigger and better equipment increased. Matt was able to contact Pete Upton, Executive Director of Native360, wanting to discuss loan opportunities as well as find ways to increase the efficiency of his business.
Securing loans is just one example of the many services Native360 has to offer. In addition to helping Hedgewood Tree Service LLC see continued success, Pete Upton assisted Matt through the legal process of turning his business into a Limited Liability Company and set up Entrepreneurship Trainings across Nebraska and Iowa for Native American-owned, small business owners.
“Matt really took hold of all of the concepts we presented to him all the way from legal structure, to marketing, to accounting and to making his business a lot more efficient,” Pete said. “He’s really grasped and implemented all of the knowledge we bring to him.”
Because of Native360, Matt was able to obtain a loan to purchase a 16-foot dump trailer and later a Haulotte 55-foot towable lift, saving Matt and his brother time, money and resources. Now, efficiency and productivity are at an all-time high for Hedgewood Tree Services LLC.
Before Native360, Matt and Mark could handle one tree a day. Days were spent climbing up and down, loading branches into a truck, cutting the branches and manually unloading them at a separate work site. With the improved dump trailer and boom truck, they are able to take on four or five trees in the same amount of time.
“We’ve been working towards this for years,” Mark said. Native360 stepped in and made the dream come true for the brothers, who feel that they have found their niche and taken the direction of the company into their own hands.
Working with Native360 has been a breeze for Matt. Because of the trusting relationship the two companies have formed, Matt knows he can rely on Pete and Native360 to answer any questions he has at any time of the day.
“They’re always there and on top of everything,” Matt said. “I really do feel like I’m taken care of with Native360. It’s personal and one on one. I’ve never had an easier time getting financial advice, help or loans than I have with Native360.”
For Pete, the reward comes from being able to bring the opportunity to succeed to businesses like Hedgewood Tree Services LLC. “Entrepreneurs will find a way to get it done,” he said. “It’s nice to be part of their success.”